Recover The Interests God Has Created In You

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God created each of us with unique interests. Finding those interests can help us to better understand who He has created us to be and help us to better use them to glorify Him.

Sometimes these interests get buried under painful memories, and it takes intentional work to recover them. Working through our pain can remove the blinders from our eyes, so we can more easily see what we loved as a child. To remember what made us feel alive and more hopeful in the midst of the darkness.

As a child, I didn’t know a loving Jesus. To me, God was angry, vengeful, and unapproachable. But as I look back, a God of love was still at work even though I didn’t see, feel, or know Him. He created in me interests that I now see as ways He made my life more bearable.

One of my fond memories was when my brother and I brought our Holstein cows from the pasture to the barnyard for milking. I loved smelling the country air and feeling it on my face. Hearing the frogs chirp in the creek making a ribbon through our pasture. Seeing the killdeer drawing us away from their nests with a shrill “Kill-deee! Kill-deee!”

“Kaaa Boss!” we would yell. Many of the cows would come when called and would head home in a long line, but there were usually those who stayed in the back of the pasture until we rounded them up.

I loved walking barefoot but it was kind of tricky when there were thistles to dodge. Once I didn’t see a dead one and stepped right into it. Ouch! My foot was still stinging when I plopped it smack dab in the middle of a cow pie so fresh it was still steaming. Yuck! And yet I remember the warm, soothing feeling squishing up between my toes. It actually helped take the sting out of my foot!

I loved animals, both the farm ones and wildlife. I was even intrigued by the ones others might call creepy, like bugs, spiders, and snakes. 🙂

Animals became a part of my dreams, too. I wanted to be a marine biologist. I wanted to study chimpanzees or gorillas like Jane Goodall.

As I grew into a teenager, I also dreamed of owning an orphanage. I wanted every child to feel loved and cared about. I wanted to shield them from all harm. I never got what I wanted, but God did give me children to care for. As a teacher, then a mother, and now a grandmother. Sometimes my heart aches for all the children in this world, and I wish I could protect them all from evil. I know I can’t though and I have to give them into the hands of Jesus who loves children and invites them to come to Him. What I can do is be a part of making every child I meet feel noticed, loved, and cherished.

Not all our dreams come to reality in our lives and seasons in our lives change. Sometimes because of circumstances, we have to let go of pursuits that gave us such joy, and that can be painful. Sometimes even those dreams we have that line up with passions we feel God has given us fall by the wayside. We don’t always understand why, but God can help us to grieve and move forward into the plan He has for each of us.

Through the heavy weight of not dealing with past abuse in my life, the long, difficult road of finally dealing with it, and this continuing journey of healing, there were and still are times I cannot see, feel, or appreciate the deep-seated interests God has given me. But God still preserves the makeup of who I am. Both children and nature still bring me joy and hope. I am still fascinated by the complexities of God’s creatures. All of God’s creation is God’s gift of love and grace. It inspires me to open my heart to His beauty and remember He is in control of our lives.

His creation includes you. I really do care about you readers. I don’t know you all by name, but God does, and I can still pray for you. I long for you to know the joy and salvation there is in Jesus. And I long for Him to set you free to recover interests He Himself has given you. Those interests that make you who you are.

Are there God-created loves inside you that got buried in the heaviness of life’s troubles? Interests you had as a child that made you feel more alive and hopeful even when you didn’t know God? Do you take time to enjoy them today as God’s way to give you more hope in the midst of the turmoil of our hearts, lives, and world?

If you are one of those children who were so abused and neglected that you weren’t allowed to enjoy anything or truly discover where your interests lie, I’m so very sorry. I hope you have gotten or will get help to work through the pain and to recover them. I pray God will uncover and revive the special person He made you to be, that unique, wonderful person He filled with special gifts and interests meant to glorify Him.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14a

“For we are God’s masterpiece.
He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago.”
Ephesians 2:10

“Wonderfully Made”
Matthew West

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Soul Rest in Nature: Hope Bursts Forth in Radiant Colors

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“What’s she doing? Who would want to take a picture of cattails anyway?”

“I would…” I said to myself.

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I love walking the trails of Outdoor Campus here in Sioux Falls where nature is kept as natural and unspoiled as possible. At the end of a trail, one must walk on the sidewalk of the entrance road into the park. Across the road are cattails. Last year I was walking a few feet behind three women. The one with the camera walked to the cattails to take pictures when one woman voiced her opinion.

DSC_0282 I guess everyone has a right to their own perspective of nature’s paintings. I admired the woman who was soaking up snapshots of everything she could of God’s canvas.

I have fond memories of cattails. I grew up on a farm, and I loved plucking the ripened, fluffy seeds from them and letting them float away with the wind to places nobody but God knows.

The truth is if we don’t venture across the road to see the cattails, we miss other hidden surprises. Behind those tall, stately, brown-suited plants is a pond. And sometimes there are even ducks on the pond.

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I never find anything mundane in nature. There always seems to be something new to surprise me, just like when I read the Bible. Something pops out that I didn’t notice after so many times of reading it. God’s Word and nature are so synchronized. Both resound with His voice.

When I went to the Outdoor Campus last week, I asked God, “Will You show me something new today?” As I walked there were so many various thrilling bird calls that I thought: Ah, hearing this is a beautiful surprise already that I never grow tired of. But then a cardinal flew in a few feet from me. He flew away before I could get a photo, but the rich red feathers, black mask around his eyes, and the distinguished red tuft are still etched in my memory bank. Thank You, God. Since then I have found out that the various calls I was hearing were all from cardinals. Did you know they have about two dozen different songs? Wow!

As I returned on the sidewalk I mentioned, I crossed the road to the cattails, and I found another surprise. Usually I see mallard ducks, but this time I saw what I think was a female wood duck.

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Nature remains one of my favorite soul-resting whitespaces.

God desires to show us
He is still with us.
If our eyes and ears
Are attuned to His voice,
We will be surprised
And even fascinated
By what He gives,
And hope will burst forth
In radiant colors.


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“We need to find God,
and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…
We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
– Mother Teresa

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21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Whitespace Writing Prompt:
“Share a Whitespace Moment This Week”

A Soft Gentle Voice

God’s Signs and Seals of His Generous Love

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Signs of God’s goodness and love surround us in His creation, whispering ever so tenderly:

Yes, Child, I am here.
Open your eyes and see.
Open your ears and listen.
Open your heart and believe.
I hold up My Creation,
And I hold up you
Because I delight in you.

Several weeks ago, my daughter spotted a Baltimore Oriole in our birdbath. I missed it, but I did catch a picture of him on the rooftop. I found out they especially love grape jelly, so I got a little feeder. He didn’t come back…

Last week when I felt so sick, I looked out the window and at the sky and sighed, “God, if You really are with me, will You give me a sign? Will You please bring that Oriole back?”

I quickly snatched it back. “I’m sorry, God. I shouldn’t ask for a sign. I should just trust that You’re with me always.”

I am trying to trust God, no matter what. Not only at times when I feel the sunshine of His Presence, but also at times when He’s covered by the stormy clouds that rage in my body, mind, or heart.

I am trying to find my footing on His immovable character of goodness and love, not in my faltering feelings.

I am trying to own His promises, believing He has personally given them to me and is faithful to fulfill them in His own time and way.

So I felt guilty asking God for a sign. He had just gifted me with a whisper of His assurance last week, “You don’t need to understand. You just need to hold My hand. I am with you.” Just because I felt so alone that day did not mean He wasn’t there for me. He never presses something on our hearts if He doesn’t mean it.

His promises are purposeful and will surely come to pass.

Because He loves us.

So deeply.

So devotedly.

So desperately.


“For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”

(Zephaniah 3:17 NLT)

God takes delight in us. He gladly gives us signs to show His love. He desires to calm our fears. His generosity towards us is a bottomless sea of goodness. He passionately desires to give us far more than we ask for or expect.

A joyful surprise arrived for me on Saturday. I was resting while my husband went to see if our son needed any more help with moving, and my heart nudged me to get up and look out the window.

A Baltimore Oriole! Giddy with excitement, I hurried to get some snapshots of this beautiful bird, so gloriously displaying the goodness and love of God. Thank You, God!

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I don’t know if the Oriole will come back. I hope so. But even if he doesn’t, I will see every bird outside my window as a sign and seal of the goodness and love of a generous God.

The house finches that nested outside my window have taken flight. It’s hard to believe how quickly they grow to nearly the size of their parents.

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I’m a big boy now!

And God has sent a variety of other birds to delight my heart:

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Goldfinches in their
sunshiny array.
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A pair of mallard ducks
surprised us with a visit.
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Mourning doves spread their wings to the sun, teaching us to spread our arms to the Sun and expect His blessings, because He is so willing to give them.
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And along comes Baby Mourning Dove.
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Let’s not forget the sparrows.
God counts us even more valuable!
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Yes, He’s still watching over you. I’m His witness.

Take a look out the window or a walk in nature. View photos of God’s marvelous creation. Signs of God’s love, His goodness, and His faithfulness are all around us.

No matter what you’re going through right now:
God knows.
He sees.
He hears.
He cries.
He understands.
And His heart is bursting with love for you!

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Joining Up With


A Soft Gentle Voice

Faith Barista’s Writing Prompt:
“Share your whitespace moment.”
– moments of beauty and rest
– feeding your soul
– your alone time with God

Whitespace Community Linkup @ faithbarista.com

 

Copyright © 2014,
Trudy Den Hoed.
All rights reserved.